Men's Health & Wellness

Spotlight on men’s health and wellness.

Right now is a great time to take good care of your health. Learn about these topics that are especially important for men, including screenings and treatments that can have a lasting health impact on you and your family.


Table of Contents:
  1. Prostate Cancer
  2. Colorectal Cancer
  3. Heart Disease
  4. Mental Health

Prostate Cancer

What is prostate cancer?

Prostate cancer occurs in the gland cells of the prostate. The prostate is a walnut-shaped gland in males that is responsible for producing seminal fluid (semen).

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men (other than skin cancer). Approximately one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Although this cancer can be serious—being the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in American men—it is very treatable when detected in its early stages. d

The American Cancer Society reports a greater than 99% five-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer that has not spread outside the prostate. So, like with many cancers, early detection is key!


Risk factors of prostate cancer include:

  • Age: The risk of developing prostate cancer increases with age
  • Race: African Americans are more than twice as likely to die from prostate cancer and tend to develop it at younger ages
  • Genetic: Family history of prostate cancer can increase risk


Below are some symptoms associated with prostate cancer.

Please note that it is important to discuss these symptoms with your doctor because many symptoms can be associated with other conditions like a urinary tract infection.

  • Difficulty starting a stream when urinating
  • Urine flow that is weak or interrupted
  • Difficulty emptying bladder fully
  • Frequency, pain, or burning during urination
  • Urine or semen that contains blood
  • Pain in the back or pelvis that doesn’t stop
  • Ejaculations that are painful

A common test for prostate cancer is a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test. A PSA test is a blood test that can help detect if there is a problem with the prostate, where the higher the number, the greater the chance of you having prostate cancer. PSA can be elevated for other reasons besides cancer and a biopsy may be recommended to confirm the presence of prostate cancer.

The U.S. Preventative Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that men 55 to 69 years of age should discuss prostate cancer screening with their provider and its potential benefits and harms. Routine screening is not recommended for men 70 years and older.

Treatment for prostate cancer would be at the discretion of you and your doctor.

  • Surveillance/watchful waiting: Some prostate cancers grow slowly, so your doctor may decide to monitor for symptoms or do routine PSA testing.
  • Surgery: A prostatectomy is an operation where your prostate is removed.
  • Radiation: A cancer treatment that uses high doses of radiation to shrink and kill cancer cells.
  • Hormone Therapy: Designed to rob the prostate of the testosterone it needs to grow, this is called “androgen deprivation therapy.”
  • Other therapies under investigation for the treatment of prostate cancer include but are not limited to chemotherapy and cryotherapy.

Colorectal Cancer

What is colorectal cancer?

Excluding skin cancers, Colorectal cancer is the third-most-common cancer in men and women with men’s rate being slightly higher than women’s. Sometimes, abnormal growths called polyps form in the colon or rectum. Over time, some polyps may turn into cancer.

Screening tests can find polyps so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage when treatment works best. It is not uncommon to have no early symptoms of colon cancer, so screening is key!d

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Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Family history
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Low fiber and high fat diet
  • Being overweight
  • Alcohol consumption


Symptoms for colorectal cancer include:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Diarrhea, constipation
  • Abdominal pain that will not go away
  • Unexplained weight loss

There are several colorectal cancer screenings that can help find precancerous changes and detect cancer in its early stages when it is most treatable.

The table below shows the different types of screening tests that can be done. Talk with your doctor about which screening is right for you.

Screening is recommended for adults 45 to 75 years of age. In adults younger than 45 and from 76-85 years old, the USPSTF recommends that patients and their primary care providers make an individual decision whether to screen for colorectal cancer. This decision should consider the person’s overall health and prior screening history to determine which test is the best.

Treatment depends on the type of colorectal cancer and how far it has spread. Once diagnosed, additional testing will help determine the extent or stage of cancer to indicate the most appropriate treatment.

Heart Disease

What is heart disease?

The leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. One in every five deaths in the United States is related to heart disease.

There are many different types of heart disease, including coronary artery disease, heart failure and arrhythmias, that includes atrial fibrillation. Heart disease can be a silent killer, almost half of men who die suddenly from coronary artery disease have not reported any previous symptoms. This is why it’s important to identify your risks and make necessary lifestyle changes.d

No matter the type of heart disease, quitting smoking and staying physically active can reduce your risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity to lower your risk of heart disease. We encouraged you to discuss with your doctor what type of exercise is right for you. Besides lowering your risk of heart disease, physical activity can have a positive impact on your cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes or risk thereof, and mental health.

Please check out our Heart Health page to learn more about the different types of heart disease and the risk factors, symptoms and treatments associated with each one.


Mental Health

What is mental illness?

All people can be affected by mental health problems like depression or anxiety. However, men are generally less likely to seek help. Suicide rates are almost four times higher in men than women.

One of the challenges associated with men seeking help is the stigma that mental illness is a sign of weakness, which is not true. Mental illnesses, like physical illness, is a problem that is associated with a part of your body—for mental illness, the affected organ is the brain. Like any organ, things like stress, sleep, nutrition, and trauma can all impact how the brain is injured and/or recovers.

With time, doctors have learned the value of treating the ‘whole body,’ consisting of both the physical and mental well-being of their patients.

Some symptoms of depression and anxiety include:

  • Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
  • Losing interest in things you used to enjoy.
  • Problems with sleep or fatigue
  • Feeling nervous, restlessness
  • Trouble focusing
  • Changes in appetite
  • Irritability, risk behavior, substance use
  • Difficulty controlling emotions (mood swings)

We encourage you to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Also, check out our Mental Health page for additional resources.